Do You Need an Education Degree for a Job in Early Intervention?

Early InterventionThe field of special education provides educators with many personal and professional rewards and career satisfaction, and the majority of candidates will need an education degree for a job in early intervention. Starting with an undergraduate degree in education helps to build the foundation needed to complete the additional requirements for working as a classroom teacher or in an intervention specialist position in a specific area.

Undergraduate Degree in Education

A bachelor’s degree in education is often the starting point for all future educators. Although the core curriculum may vary by university, a common curriculum will include course work such as psychology of learning, educational foundations, instructional technology, education assessment, and language development. Additional course work might include teaching methods in specific subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts.

In addition to this core course work, students in an undergraduate program for education will also complete field work, classroom observation, and student teaching assignments. These are all helpful in preparing graduates to enter a classroom and work with students, other school staff, and parents to promote the success of all students.

Undergraduate Concentration in Early Intervention

To further preparation to work specifically in early intervention, typically in special education classroom settings, undergraduate students might also choose to complete a concentration in that specific area of education. This concentration typically includes courses such as early reading instruction, intervention strategies, evaluation and assessment strategies for students with disabilities, communication and advocacy, and literacy assessment.

Graduate Degrees in Early Intervention

Although an undergraduate degree in early intervention could be the minimum requirement for positions within this area of education, many schools, private education companies, community groups, and government agencies might also prefer or require a master’s degree. A master’s degree program will continue to build on the foundations of an undergraduate education degree to further help future teachers and administrators specialize in the field of early intervention.

Common courses in a graduate level program for early intervention are likely to include cognitive development in children, foundations of curricula in early childhood education, individualized education plan (IEP) development, assessment of young children with special needs, and collaborative relationships.

In addition to the graduate course work, students in these programs may also choose to specialize in a particular area of early intervention. For instance, many universities offer master’s level programs in reading intervention. This advanced course work further prepares future educators for specific roles, helping students to through assessment, evaluation, program development, and collaboration with community resources, school support staff, and parents.

Additional Certifications

Preparing for positions in early intervention may also require additional coursework or licensing after completing the education requirements. Most states have additional requirements in place, for example, necessitating specific endorsements or certifications. More information on early intervention requirements can be reviewed at the National Association for Special Education Teachers website.

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Different educational institutions may also have additional varying requirements for working as a teacher or specialist in early intervention classrooms and programs. Ultimately, depending on the position, candidates will first need an education degree for a job in early intervention.